While the Bend Bulletins headline reads: “Democrats add to registration edge in Oregon” the actual voter registration statistics continue to tell a different and far more interesting and compelling story.
The rise of the independent voter.
In September, voter registration increased by 25,577.
Here is the most important statistic because it shows trends. The total increase by party (including NAV), and the percentage of the increase that went to that party/group
PARTY/Group TOTAL INCREASE INCREASE AS % OF ALL RAW INCREASE
Non Affiliated voter +14,793 58%
Democrats +4,355 17%
Republicans + 2,906 11.4%
Independent Party + 2,619 10.2%
Other Minor + 904 3.4%
TOTAL INCREASE +25,577 100%
The real story here is that the “i/Independent” voter category, that is those choosing either NAV or IPO, accounts for 68% of the total voter registration increase.
Here are the fastest to slowest growing parties including the NAV cohort
Non Affiliated: +2.9%
Independent Party +2.6%
Based on these numbers, the headline “Democrats add to registration edge in Oregon” is like a paper headlining a story of the Hindenburg disaster “Next dirigible flights likely to be delayed”
This isn’t an aberration. This is a trend that has continued for the two years we’ve been reporting on it.
In fact, here are the one year trends. From September 2013 to September, 2014
- Democratic Party has lost 22,887 or 2.7% of its membership
- Republican Party has lost 14,607 members, or 2.1% of it’s membership
- Non Affiliated voters have increased by 22,415, an increase of 4.5%
- Independent Party of Oregon has increased by 7,312, or a whopping 7.5%
This is why Measure 90 has a chance of passing. Not because it’s the best solution to our ailing democracy, but because voters who flee the Democratic and Republican Parties, are looking for alternatives to the current process which they feel is unfair and resulting in bad choices.
- The Republican Party long ago passed the political Mendoza Line
- The Independent Party is about 3,000 voters away from becoming a major party. The IPO gained over 2,600 new members in September alone. And with the October voter registration drives taking place now, there is a good chance the IPO will reach major party status by the end of this year)
- The Democratic Party grew a bit faster than the Republican Party in September. That is unsual. Over the past year, it has been shrinking faster than the Republican Party. Indicating that unregistered voters are more likely to lean Democratic.